FLIPSIDE — By Chris Jacobie
THE images of emotional young protestors against violence against women, children, and the vulnerable on one side of the sidewalk and the police lining up on the opposite side should be as disturbing as the relentless cruelty that the nation is confronted with hourly and daily.
The protests are new because technology is new, but what remains is a stain on Namibians’ consciences that now starts bleeding again as so often in the past. It should not be an old wound that has developed an impenetrable scar tissue that is growing over a festering sore.
The state of violence and assault is not a photo- or political opportunity, it is an opportunity to cross the divide and mistrust and this must happen now.
It is a call to get off the pavements and join each other in the middle of the road and together start the journey of national dignity where the protection of the weak and the exposure of the cruel becomes second nature.
It will be a mistake of epic proportions to fight and debate in the streets, while serious action and commitment are needed by a nation when all else has failed.
Namibians prayed, the authorities threatened and the politicians sympathized, but the victims are piling up like the dead and the wounded of fierce battlefields while the country shows off their peace and security.
Even worse is the idea that a government gets a perverse pleasure out of the suffering of people in poverty and in abuse. That is reckless and cheap political opportunism that allows Namibians to lose focus and widen the divide.
What is needed are cool heads and a serious attempt to stop the maniacs and the beasts who feast on national division.
It is never too late to try again, especially after laws, the police, prayer, churches, and justice have failed. The next minute is as good as any to start again. Embrace the young and protect the babies, the mothers, and grandmothers.
First, the woman that is suspected of the young mother from Walvis Bay’s murder and her accomplices should be brought to book swiftly. The cold heartlessness to keep the agonizing murder of a missing girl and mother secret is a low point from which Namibians can rise.
The protesters need support and the language of unity – and not the assault of blame – must demonstrate that Namibians resolve to be better than this because they are.
Politicians should re-examine their aggressiveness in parliament that borders on gender-based violence. Stop looking for scapegoats, and instead look for the transgressors and aggressors so that they are exposed and acted against.
Before the Namibian nation can look for solutions in a sex offenders’ register in a country where most of the society does not even have a home address, audit the dockets at prosecutors to see which predators were set free and are back on the streets again.
The best remedy against any assault of dignity remains a stable government that is supported by the citizens who deserve the best that democracy and their choices can offer.
To heal is to deal in unity against brutes that answer sympathy with brutality.
A united Namibia looking out for each other out of compassion and care is the invincible force that never failed the nation and never will.